Participant Observation is the Process of Learning by Observing and Participating in Cultural Life
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How to Travel and Do Good at the Same Time!

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There are many reasons to travel; it improves social and communication skills, enhances your tolerance for uncertainty, and provides a real life education unique to the place you travel. Experiencing new places widens your worldview, expands your cultural awareness, and teaches you something you may never learn if you never leave home. Most people who travel take the roads more travelled, they travel, eat and take in the sites. But there is a different way to visit other countries. You can immerse yourself in another culture and take part in a number of different programs that will give you a chance to experience another culture in an entirely different way. This mode of cultural engagement might including building houses, working environmental conservation, teaching English, organic farming, working in an orphanage, assisting refugees in resettlement, improve healthcare, teach sports, vocational training, and participating in an archeological excavation. Some programs in addition to allowing you to volunteer or intern also provide opportunities for language immersion. We also have a list of programs that are specifically designed for Language Immersion. The number of countries where you travel to with these programs is staggering, really just about anywhere in the world.

We have compiled a list of over 100 different organizations through which you can explore, learn, teach, and aid communities vastly different from your own. The programs range in duration and cost, but some of the programs actually offer free accommodations, meals and even travel assistance. There are programs for teenagers, college students, and adults of all ages, varying language levels, and objectives, you should be able to find the perfect program.

It should be noted that traveling anywhere poses risks, especially to poorer countries. We encourage you to do your own research into whatever organization and destination you choose, and travel safely. A program's inclusion in our list does not represent an endorsement of any organization or program. Not all programs use the highest standards, but most probably do. Please google the organizations you are interested in and see what former volunteers and others have to say about them. Be aware that some volunteer placing organizations charge fees but many do not.

A Broader View
A Broader View holds programs in Central America, South America, Asia, and Africa ranging from sea turtle conservation and cultural immersion to rehabilitation and social welfare programs.

ACDI/VOCA
Over the past 40 years ACDI/VOCA has mobilized 1200 skilled professionals and international volunteers to build the capacity of developing countries

BUNAC
BUNAC provides employment, internship, and volunteer opportunities in programs ranging from coaching sports, childcare and child development, and environmental conservation. Programs are located in Canada, Thailand, New Zealand, Colombia, and many more countries.

CCUSA
The volunteer programs offered in Africa include providing instructive horse-riding classes for people with disabilities, mentoring at youth camps, and providing education to children and adults of disadvantaged communities.

CISV International

Go Overseas
Go Overseas offers programs in South Africa, Nepal, Brazil, Ghana, India, and Costa Rica that focus on wildlife conservation, women

I-to-i
I-to-i focuses on providing TEFL certification and enabling individuals to travel and connect with various cultures and communities through paid internships teaching English. Internships are based in China, Colombia, Thailand, South Africa, Cambodia, and more.

IFRE Volunteers
Volunteer and internship opportunities with over 200 projects in 18 countries, including teaching English and community development.

ISVHAT
Offers volunteer and responsible adventure travel programs designed to educate, inspire and educate more active global citizens. Programs in South Africa, Thailand, Dominican republic and more.

Iko-Poran
Iko-Poran is a non-profit organization based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and offers projects in Thailand, Uganda, Cambodia, Argentina, Ecuador, and more. Volunteers are given opportunities to work with child development, teaching, construction, NGO support, arts and design, and more.

International Association for Volunteer Effort
Aims to promote, strengthen, and celebrate volunteering all over the world with members in more than 70 countries. This organization connects NGOS, businesses, and volunteer centers to make a significant contribution to resolving the world's most pressing problems.

International Service Learning (ISL) leads groups of volunteers to twelve different countries providing essential community and medical services for those in need. Countries include Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, and more. ISL programs focus on fields such as global health, dentistry, optometry, and physical therapy.

International Student Volunteers (ISV)
ISV enables volunteers to travel to Australia, South Africa, Dominican Republic, New Zealand, and more in order to participate in local and community development initiatives, environmental sustainability, constructing housing and sanitation infrastructures, and more. ISV offers programs for college and university students age 18 and older, non-students age 18 and older, and high school students age 15-18.

International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ)
IVHQ programs heighten global awareness and cultural understanding through the skills and expertise taken by volunteers to their host communities, and through the experiences and lessons that volunteers take back to their own countries and cultures. IVHQ holds programs in South Africa, Guatemala, Peru, Sri Lanka, and many other countries that aim to enhance arts and culture in underdeveloped environments, provide childcare, renovate facilities, develop communities, and enhance healthcare amongst other things.

International Volunteer Program
Outreach360 provides its volunteers with an opportunity to transform the lives of children, while gaining a broader world-view through powerful cultural and educational experiences. Programs where volunteers are committed to building the future of disadvantaged youth living in impoverished areas of Latin america

JENGA Community Development Outreach
JENGA works in urban slums and rural villages of eastern Uganda providing basic essentials to the most vulnerable people of Uganda as well as diverse and sustainable development projects.

Kind Traveler
Kind Traveler provides volunteers with experiences in Mexico, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, and more in order to work with programs such as human rights, animal welfare, environmental development, and public benefit.

Lead Adventures
Connects volunteers with a wide ranging list of opportunities both in wildlife conservation and in community development primarily in South America but all over the world as well.

Love Volunteers
Love Volunteers works with NGOs in countries such as New Zealand, Ecuador, Mexico, Bangladesh, Laos, Bosnia, and Thailand in order to give volunteers opportunities that include providing education to communities, empowering women, working in specialized programs such as law or human rights, and working with locals in order to develop long-lasting community advancements.

Maximo Nivel
Maximo Nivel internship and volunteering programs specialize in a range of subjects including hospitality, tourism, business, human rights, special education, and medicine. Internships are designed to give individuals professional work experience, Spanish language proficiency, and career networking opportunities. Internships are offered in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru.

Mercy Volunteers Corps
MVC promotes social changes by placing and supporting volunteers with people who are poor or marginalized. Volunteers serve for one year in an international placement at 1 of 3 sites in Guyana South America. opportunities include work with orphanages and hospitals.

Moving Worlds
Moving Worlds enables volunteers to go to destinations such as Kenya, Swaziland, Bolivia, Honduras, Uganda, and more with programs such as marketing, child development, education, and industrial design.

NPH International
Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos strives to create a safe environment for children living in extreme conditions, through education and health care,they give children the opportunity to develop their potential. Offering volunteer programs in several Latin American countries and enriching cross cultural encounters.

Naturally Africa Volunteers
Naturally Africa Volunteers provides opportunities for skilled and unskilled volunteers to help make a difference in Africa. Volunteers can choose from childcare and development projects, teaching, coaching sports, medical outreach, and providing vocational trainin

New Hope Volunteers
Based in Kathmandu, New Hope Volunteers is an international humanitarian volunteer program. With opportunities in 20 different countries, teaching english, helping children or wildlife conservation.

One World 365
One World 365 offers volunteers the opportunity to work in India, Thailand, Belize, and more in programs such as working in orphanages, teaching at local schools, and working in medical and healthcare initiatives.

Reach Out Volunteers
Reach Out Volunteers offers programs in Asia, South America, and Africa that focus on cultural immersion, education, conservation, community developments, and more.

Rustic Pathways
Who: High School Students
With Rustic Pathways, students are enabled to travel to Australia, Morocco, Cuba, Myanmar, Vietnam, and so much more in order to engage in service projects that focus on a range of global issues such as on youth empowerment, upgrading school facilities, sustainable energy initiatives, and economic development. Rustic Pathways encourages its student volunteers to learn about their role in the global community, the power they have to affect change, and the benefits of diversity and cultural awareness.

Rustic Volunteers
This is an international volunteer and humanitarian organization, running service projects in 18 countries worldwide to serve poor communities and children. Programs are offered in Nepal, Kenya, and other places.

Service Leader
An index of websites providing information about service opportunities outside of the U.S. opportunities vary in length from one week to multiple years, depending on the program sponsor.

Service for Peace
Service for Peace provides programs focusing on agriculture, building, business development, community development, education, and gender issues in Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, and Nicaragua. The program ranges from one to two weeks.

Squads Abroad
A Cross-cultural solutions program emphasizing education and health, empowering youth organizations around the world. this organization matches youth groups with community driven sustainable initiatives in Peru, Ghana and several other countries.

Study Abroad
Study Abroad focuses programs that involve arts and culture, education and childcare, infrastructure and community development, and many more subjects. Volunteers can choose from programs located in countries including France, Germany, Italy, Brazil, China, and Ireland.

Sudan Volunteer Programme
Educational organization providing opportunities to teach English in schools and universities and help with community projects

The Archaeological Conservancy
A nonprofit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving archaeological sites.

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